Hey there fam! Looks like I am back on the net writing to you guys again.
So time really goes by when you are super busy, because this last week went by really really fast. And what a week it was! Let me tell you a little wittle bit of the life of Elder Hatch here in Covilha.
So this week we started helping a menos activo, yup like always, stop smoking so that he could feel worthy to return to church. He used to be a teacher in the Church and he even baptized a couple people out of his family. He walked around with the missionaries and helped them in the work so much. Just one day he found out that he was sinning by smoking and drinking..... the missionaries that had baptized him failed to let him know about that little..... BIG..... step that he needed to take. So when he found that out he felt terrible! He felt like he was hurting the testimonies of the members and didn't want to make anyone leave the church because of his example, so he left. Pretty sad. So until now it has been about impossible to get a hold of him, and we finally did. When we did he was super excited to see us and even more excited to get back to Church! To start feeling the Holy Ghost again and to feel its purifying power. So we brought to him the diexar a fumar (stop smoking) program and we started up on Friday with him. He was super excited and it was super spiritual as we watched him crush all 200!!!! of his cigarros right in front of us and all his materials to smoke. The program is actually really intense and works with all the people who follow the steps so we really pushed him to following all of the steps. Because he was a member of our church, we really pushed the whole program to the spiritual aspect of things, and it really helped him.
The next day, Sat., I had a strong feeling that we needed to visit him at that very moment. So we did before going out to a Familia Pina way out in the boonies. When we got there he looked super sad, and had a note in his hand explaining that he and his wife didn't want to see us for a while and started blaming something on ME, ELDER HATCH! Haha we were sooooo shocked we didn't know what to do so we made him explain to us what was going on. He told me that I went into his kitchen and bathroom with authorization, which was a complete lie, I had asked him directly if I could, so that I could put a picture of CHRIST in his house. Then his wife came out and she called him out! He had just tried to blame ME for something that he didn't say to his wife, and his wife had gotten embarrassed that I had gone into the bathroom when it wasn't clean...... WHAT THE HECK!?! They were about to kick us out forever because of that! Eventually I got everyone to calm down, they were yelling at each other, and I was like ALRIGHT WE ARE SAYING A PRAYER RIGHT NOW! hahahaha so we did and we brought the spirit back into the room. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh it was crazy! We cleared everything up with them, by the pure help of the Spirit, and ya........it was a huge miracle that the Lord had informed me that we needed to visit them at that very moment to go visit them or they wouldn't have let us back in their house. The spirit of God like a fire is burning! But through all of the stress irmao had smoken again so we had to start the program over. Good thing is, that morning when him and irma had gotten in a fight, he started praying to Jesus for help, and he recognized us as the help.
WHAT A MIRACLE FOR US!!!!
But the thing is I learned a huge lesson that day. Sometimes its better just to take the fall. For example... if I would have started yelling back at this man calling him a liar and thrown in back in his face, it would have been bad. Because truth is, he was under a lot of stress too. He was trying to break a 40 year habit. But instead, I asked for his forgiveness, and told him how sorry I was for something that I didn't know (when in all reality he had told me that I could haha). I asked forgiveness from Irma for making her feel bad about their situation, and I just decided to take the fall for all of it when in all reality I had done nothing haha. But that's not what mattered, at the time, with two people yelling at each other (not me or my comp but them two), someone needed to give in and say sorry. What I learned is one, CULTURE, is different haha. TWO, I need to be humble enough to take a fall.
But all in all, everything turned out great and the Spirit guided us. What a blessing!
So that was just one miracle that we had the other day. Something super fun that we did after was have a noite familiar with the P family! We went out to their house and we helped them work in their yard for a while. Irma want flowers haha so we worked. After I (19 who we are working with to help him get on a mission.... he will be the 3rd person in history to leave this area to serve a mission!), S (17), and D (14), took us down to this cool river close to their house. I took some sweet pictures. Then we came back to the house and made a fire outside of their house, and we cooked some good ol smores! muito bem! We sang a song and we had a noite familiar with them around the fire. They are a super special family to me, and have so so much potential in the church. I am really trying to get Isac excited to serve a mission and we will be helping him with his papers here pretty soon. I keep giving him a hard time he will serve in Japan or something hahaha. Such a cool kid. The guy looks like Lil Wayne haha. Just gotta take those earnings out of his ear!
So today for PDAY we are going over to a menos activos house and we are learning how to cook a meal.... well.... Elder Maldonado is. I am playing the guitar with Irmao and learning how to play a song, and teaching him how to play a couple songs. Dad, you teaching me how to play the guitar, is now blessing the life a menos ativo, who was not going to open up to us until he heard me play the guitar hahaha now he wants to have us over again. Another miracle! When I picked up the guitar the other day to show him, I think God gave me the gift of fingers hahaha, ela existe!! cuz I haven't played in FOREVER and I miss it sooooooooooooooo muchhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! I think when I get back I wont touch the x box again, maybe just to beat up my older brother D in NBA Live ever once in while when I feel bad for him, and just play the guitar, and maybe even the piano again. Now that we got our own capela I have been practicing the piano ever once in while..... ITS HARD!! hahaha all my brothers took all the family talent.... thanks ya jerks;)
So this area is FINALLY starting to really improve. Little by little by little our small visits our finally paying off. Menos Ativos are letting us in and hearing our messages, some even asked if they could come back to church! ......YES YOU CAN!!! And what a blessing it has been to serve here! I wanna spend my whole mission here! Forget Madeira, the Azores, Algarve, I wanna stay here! This is like my place, my home, okay not like STG, but I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!
Well, I hope you all enjoyed the email! I love you all! So much! I think about you all the time, not a distraction though, I am a focused guy over here so no worries.;) I love you!
Elder Daniel (Butch Sr.) Hatch